Mrs Binta Jammeh-Sidibeh said: “I wish to call on the media to realise that gender-based violence is widespread in The Gambia. It is not widely reported in the media simply because of the culture of silence, the perceived fear of [state] authorities and the urge to protect families.”
She made this remark at the opening of a two-day workshop for members of the Network of Journalists on Population and Development (NJPD). Organised by Women’s Bureau with funding from UNFPA Banjul Office, the training is aimed at horning the skills of journalists in their reportage on issues of gender-based violence and violence against women. The Women’s Bureau said: “Your role is crucial in the struggle to end violence against women and girls. As we all are aware that GBV is a very insidious menace that has proven difficult to be addressed simply because it concerns our very way of life which is personal and involves family and the community at large. It touches on our morality, norms and relations, but also our weaknesses and fears.
Mrs Sidibeh expressed the commitment of her office and partner institutions, including the UN system to eliminating of all forms of GBV.
She said: “The ministry of women’s affairs has taken bold steps to respond to its obligations after signing international and regional conventions, protocols and other human rights instruments to promote and protect the rights of Gambian women and children. We have also developed policies and laws to take account of gender and women’s concerns by domesticating these commitments to benefit Gambian people. These include the Women’s Act 2010, the Gender and Women empowerment policy 2010-2020, Domestic Violence Act and Sexual Offences Act 2013.”
Also speaking, the representative of UNFPA at the training, Mrs. Fatou Kinteh, outlined that gender-based Violence is any act or violence against a man or woman based on his or her sex.
She said: “Despite the government’s signing of various international and regional instruments for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, women and girls continue to face violations of their rights.”
She urged journalists to learn and report on gender-based violence as they perform a crucial role in informing the masses about such abuses or violations.
By Sainey MK Marenah]]>